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Back to the Future?
August 31, 2013

by PyroFalkon
Master of the PyroFalkon Multimedia Empire, Incorporated
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Even though it took me six months to realize that Green Day wasn't doing it anymore, the newest SmackDown theme (“Born 2 Run” by 7Lions) has seriously grown on me. Since about I use my phone about 70% of the time as an iPod, I hunted the song down on iTunes to add to my library. But in the act of searching “born 2 run,” I found something really cool on iTunes that I didn't realize existed.

Specifically: this. Granted, that link takes you to Amazon, but regardless of where you're getting it, it's a CD of military cadences that you can run to. Personally, it's not my type of product, since the only exercise I get is running to the sink to drink a gallon of water after I inevitably burn the roof of my mouth from Hot Pockets. But someone must like it, and it's pretty damn cool, even if the percussion is enhanced.

Of course, that makes me curious if those cadences are authentic. I didn't realize each branch of the service has its own specific cadences it memorizes. I have this odd feeling that some cadences may be left off the CDs, since I'd stake my next few paychecks that not all of them are fit for public knowledge. Are any of you in the military and have cadence insight?

Well, let's get to SmackDown, where I can hear about 45 seconds of this song before, more than likely, hearing “Voices” by Rev Theory immediately after. Let's roll, especially since it's already 9pm and I have shit to do...

Segment 1: Welp, it's Miz TV, and The Miz is already in the ring. Looks like we're starting the recap with shorthand, baby.

Miz blathers, Big Show hits the ring, Dolph Ziggler hits the ring, replay of RAW's ending, Miz laments that they couldn't defend Daniel Bryan but they're totally going to exercise their First Amendment rights, Big Show pusses out and doesn't say anything, Dolph pusses out too, Miz grows a set and implies he's totally going to say something.

And then Triple H pops out onto the stage, smiling, to massive boos. Man, Trips is good to at getting the fans to hate or love him. Trips hits the ring and notices that Miz is in his ring gear rather than his suit; Miz replies that you never know when a fight will break out. But hey, since we're here, won't you answer a question?

Trips declines that (to boos), then openly wonders why everyone is making this all personal, since he still insists that beating the shit out of Daniel Bryan was best for business. They pause as basically the entire arena starts chanting “You sold out!” at him, to which he replies, “It's difficult for them to understand and that's understandable,” an incredibly awkward line that still draws unanimous lines since Trips pulled it off like a champ.

Trips goes on that Randy Orton is the future of WWE, since he can back up his mouth, and while he's not huge, he's “big enough” (as he says to Dolph's face). Orton sells out arenas, which makes more money for Miz, and Dolph, and Show. So if they're getting cash, why are they so angry with him? Trips thinks their anger is really internal, like Miz must totally think, “I've had the WWE Championship a long time ago, and I've not been anywhere close to it since.” Burn. And hey, because of that, Trips is going to give Miz a match against Orton tonight!

Also, Dolph was pissy, but that's because The Shield kicked his ass. Trips gets that too, and will let Dolph “go one-on-one... with all three members of The Shield in a handicap match.” Uh, Trips? I think your math is a little fuzzy there, buddy. That's about as nonsensical as threatening to “kick [CM Punk's] skinny fat ass.”

Trips summons Show to stand directly in front of him and says that Show was so mad, you could practically see the smoke rising from him! So Trips is just going to give him the night off... and orders him to grab a seat next to the timekeeper to watch every. Single. Thing. That happens in the ring. And do nothing about it.

Show knows how to sell anger because he balls his fists and lips curl. And the cameramen and director do damn well on presentation by showing this to us. Good stuff.

Show considers it, then leaves the ring, though he does so in bits and pieces as he constantly argues with himself over whether he should. But finally, he goes ahead and gets seated. Trips dismisses Dolph to get ready for his match, but for Miz, his match starts now. Good thing he was dressed! Trips gives Orton a flowery introduction, and we finally hear “Voices” by Rev Theory.

And ads.

Segment 2 [Singles Match]: Randy Orton defeats The Miz by pin. Decent match, nothing special; well-worked, but no high spots.

Halfway through, and during Miz's first hope rally, The Shield came down to be jerks. We cut to ads, then came back, and they had put themselves on the west side of the ring between it and the ramp. Apparently they didn't interfere, but their presence alone was distracting enough that Orton took control.

Orton did his usual offense, and it wasn't anything specular, but it was watchable. (Other than the return of the Garvin Stomp, also known as the Yawn Favorite.) Miz had a major rally and slapped on the Figure Four pretty much out of nowhere, and it was exciting enough that even Big Show stood from his Time Out Chair to cheer. Orton managed to get to the ropes though, mostly because Miz never quite had it locked in right, and the ref had to pry Miz off. Orton took and maintained control from there, hit an RKO, and made the pin.

Post-Segment 2: Orton celebrated for a moment, then called in The Shield. They slid in, then kicked the ever-living shit out of Miz. Show wrang his wrists, but refused to budge. Then DB appeared and tore down the ramp so fast that his music didn't even start until he was basically on the apron.

Oh, and he's got a chair. That kinda helped, and all four heels totally bailed against that weapon of total badassery. He even managed to nail Roman Reigns with a good shot to his back. The heels gave him dirty looks from the ramp as Show checked on Miz, and Orton held the title aloft.

Segment 3: Another vignette of whatever the hell Epico and Primo are doing without My Rosa.

Segment 4: Daniel Bryan finds Vickie Guerrero in the back. Vickie lambasts him for being an interfering jerk, so she books a batch between him and Ryback. Ryback appears to talk, but says nothing of substance.

Segment 5: RAW recap of CM Punk and Curtis Axel's shenanigans.

Pre-Segment 6: Rob Van Dam is hitting the ring, but Ricardo Rodriguez pops out first to give a flowery introduction in English.

And then ads, because we gotta pay the bills somehow.

Also Pre-Segment 6: After ads, but before the match, Damien Sandow pops out and of course needs to talk first before getting to the ring. He promises that tonight, what happens in Vegas will not stay in Vegas. See, these idiots are happy to stay here and bask in their degenerate lives, but he's going to pile up victory after victory until the World Heavyweight Title is his. Because he is the uncrowned World Heavyweight Champion, but his coronation will come soon, because he will cash in his Money in the Bank contract. We're welcome.

Outstanding mini-promo with tons of confidence, and something a little different than we're used to seeing since he didn't blather about beacon of enlightenment this and sword of truth that. Also: plus a hundred points for not referring to himself as “Mr. Money in the Bank” since that seems... I dunno, a little gimmicky for his idiom. All-around good stuff, and other than the opening promo, the best bit of the show so far.

Segment 6 [Singles Match]: Rob Van Dam (w/ Ricardo Rodriguez) defeats Damien Sandow by pin. Solid match for what it was, pretty much a (story-justified) extended squash. Sandow never really got on track, and after suffering a roundhouse kick to start the match (and nearly ate a pin), he just couldn't mount an offense. He managed one reverse-rally, but he couldn't maintain it, and ate the Five-Star Frog Splash within a couple minutes.

Post-Segment 6: RVD's music sounds for about five seconds, and then Alberto Del Rio's starts up. ADR pops out onto the stage to talk shit to RVD, then speaks some Spanish insults to Ricardo. Ricardo totally betrayed his own people, which means this is a racial thing for some pointless reason, and uses the phrase “When you sleep with that dog, you get fleas.” Not sure what ADR is insinuating there, but it makes for some terrible mental images.

ADR then says the fans totally won't cheer for Ricardo just because they're hanging out with RVD, and that ADR is totally going to rain on RVD's parade. No really, he used that cliché, literally. Ugh.

Segment 7 [1-on-3 Handicap Tag Match]: The Shield defeats Dolph Ziggler by pin. Nothing really to speak of here since it didn't go any way beyond the obvious. Dolph had a couple mini-hope spots and rallies, but nothing led to anything of substance at all.

The match finished with a wicked spot. Dean Ambrose, illegal at the time, started things off by doing a one-man running powerbomb to send Dolph crashing to the corner opposite the heels. Roman Reigns, legal, followed up with a dead sprint and Speared Dolph out of his shoes. Dolph probably didn't have to oversell very hard; that looked incredibly sick. Reigns made the pin.

After the match, Reigns, while still posing over Dolph's body and with a hand on his chest, did a weird sideways snake-like motion while boring his gaze into Big Show's soul. Show's nostrils flared, and he started quivering a bit as The Shield celebrated together, but he restrained himself.

After replays, Ambrose got more personal by shoving Dolph's throat against the middle rope as all three screamed and taunted at Show. Show started shaking, but held back... even as The Shield hit their trademark triple powerbomb. The Shield, finally satisfied, left the ring and walked away through the crowd. Show looked to the lights as if asking why a just God would allow this, or possibly to force himself to cry. (Seriously, it's a simple acting trick to stare into the stage lights to make you tear up.) It made for a good visual after a couple cutaways, as Show really looked like he was tearing up with rage.

Cut Scene: Apparently on Michael Cole and JBL's YouTube show, JBL was twerking. Miley Cyrus was bad enough; the idea that anyone in the free world gave that “story” more than a nanosecond of consideration was worse. Somehow, JBL twerking, or even the idea of twerking, is pretty much a sign that we have failed as a species and need to be wiped out.

Segment 8: Paul Heyman and Curtis Axel hit the ring, giving WWE an excuse to again show replays of their CM Punk-related activities from RAW. Then Heyman grabs a mic and says that he's not sorry for beating the piss out of Punk, since in Heyman's eyes, it's the only way to survive getting his ass kicked on RAW.

Heyman insists that this is all Punk's fault for turning his back on him, and no longer “worshipping him as the God that he is,” which is a nice reminder of Punk's “your arms are too short to be boxing with God” line against The Rock. Good stuff for imagery.

But Heyman's no dumbass, and he confesses that he is nervous and even scared in the booked handicap match at the next PPV. But Punk should be afraid too, because if Heyman can beat the living hell out of Punk in the name of “fatherly love” on RAW, imagine what Paul will be capable of if he's cornered and will need to fight back.

Pretty much it, and a decent little promo, but nothing you need to go out of your way for.

Segment 9 [Tag Match]: Wyatt Family (w/ Bray Wyatt) reverse-squash Tons of Funk (w/ Funkadactyls) by pin. The Dancing Fat Men as Rick calls them had the early offense, but that stopped pretty damn fast. The faces tried twin splashes on Luke Harper, but Eric Rowan pulled Brodus Clay out under the bottom rope. Tensai wanted to help him, but the ref stopped him from exiting the ring.

Tensai settled for that, but couldn't deal with Harper's big boot. A splash here, a pin there, and the heels win. Follow the buzzards.

Segment 10: Yet another Los Matadores vignette. If they're over-the-top and comedic, this might be not horrible, but otherwise... no. Just no.

Segment 11: Replay of AJ's kickass worked shoot promo. As soon as she did it on Monday, my friend here can attest that the first thing I said was “Rick will absolutely love this.” The second thing was something about AJ's ass in those jeans; can't blame me for that, can you?

JBL was in a weird spot since, to be a heel, had to kinda agree with her but not do so in a totally douchey way, and it sounded like he simply agreed with her without qualification.

Segment 12 [Singles Match]: Daniel Bryan defeats Ryback by disqualification. Decent enough match for what it was, basically power versus speed, and a good example at that. DB had a few hope spots, including a rather sick and heavy missile dropkick off the top rope. As he Hulked up from the canvas after, he resembled Animal rocking out. (That's Animal from the Muppets.) Hair was everywhere.

It still wasn't enough, mostly because Orton joined the party halfway through. During DB's last rally, Orton just slid in the ring to put a stop to it, drawing the DQ.

Post-Segment 12: DB was on his game and immediately applied the Yes Lock, which I think Orton tapped out to. Then The Shield hit the ring and shit-kicked DB.

Show had had enough and slid in the ring. Tellingly, Orton bailed to the apron by the opposite corner while The Shield just stood there on their guard. I don't know if that was an actual instruction Orton received or just a happy accident, but by doing that, he looked really chickenshit, which is awesome for his current character. Good stuff, intentional or not.

Show stood over DB looking angry, but refused to budge. Then Trips stormed down the ramp to ringside and ordered him at maximum volume to get the hell out of the ring. Once again Show wanted to cry, but he still stood his ground. Trips then stormed to the mats, slapped the apron and screamed at him to leave.

Show, still angry and sad, got out of the ring and stood on the mats. Trips ordered him to the back like a drill sergeant, then walked alongside him as he walked away to boos. They slow-burned it, but on the stage, Show looked back, now actually in tears. Trips gave him one final order, and Show went the rest of the way through the curtain.

Trips then looked at the heels in the ring and gave them the nod. The Shield shit-kicked DB some more, then Orton punched him as The Shield held him. Reigns then held him in a full nelson as Orton hit the ropes and came back with a stiff boot to his gut. Orton then gave him some cheap punches to the face as they held him. Shield held him one more time and walked him around the ring to piss off all the fans.

Orton then gave the order for a triple powerbomb, drawing the ire of absolutely everyone, if he didn't already have it. Then, because we're in the late 90s again, someone produced some spray paint, and Orton sprayed “NO” on DB's chest.

Orton stood over DB's body while posing with the title while Shield stood outside and did their little salute over nothing, but facing Orton.

Final Thoughts: I was fairly disappointed wrestling-wise, since nothing was really noteworthy or particularly interesting. However, story-wise, especially with all things related to Big Show, freaking awesome stuff. Well, for professional wrestling, anyway.

I joked about it, but it really does feel like the late-90s again... one rebel who doesn't take the corporate image shit against the big boss who is using numbers and an abuse of authority to keep the little guy down. It's a good story, and always works, especially since it's been a while since we've seen it.

I've seen the argument that this is basically Cena/Punk in 2011 again, but I don't think that's quite accurate. Cena himself was neutral, and the respect between Cena and Punk was apparent (kayfabe, and probably in reality too). Here, as in Steve Austin/Vince McMahon, it's about hate and personal vendettas, not just image makeovers and a “pure” wrestler. All in all, good stuff. I hope I'm not in the minority in thinking that WWE has actually become interesting again. Maybe not Attitude Era popular, but still pretty damn popular, especially if fan reactions and Twitter trends are any sort of reliable metric.

That's all from me folks... a late start means no time to do my other stuff, so tomorrow is going to be insanely busy. I better hit the sack, or I'll be totally useless tomorrow.

Episode Grade: C+


SMACKDOWN RECAP: Bonding Exercises
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SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Boot Gets the Boot
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PPV RECAP: SummerSlam 2012
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SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Returnening
RAW RECAP: Countdown to 1000
PPV RECAP: WWE Money in the Bank 2012
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RAW RECAP: Closure's a Bitch
RAW RECAP: Crazy Gets What Crazy Wants
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Five Surprising MitB Deposits
RAW RECAP: Weeeellll, It's a Big MitB
RAW RECAP: Johnny B. Gone
PPV RECAP: WWE No Way Out 2012
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PPV RECAP: WWE Over the Limit 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: One Gullible Fella
RAW RECAP: Anvil, or Red Herring?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Everybody Hates Berto
RAW RECAP: Look Who's Back
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Care to go Best of Five?
RAW RECAP: An Ace Up His Sleeve
PPV RECAP: WWE Extreme Rules 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Sh-Sh-Sheamus and the nOObs
RAW RECAP: Edge, the Motivational Speaker?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: AJ is Angry, Jilted
RAW RECAP: Maybe Cena DOES Suck?
RAW RECAP: Brock's a Jerk
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Back with a Bang
RAW RECAP: Yes! Yes! Yes!
PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28




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